February 10, 2020

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Kansas City Area Schools

NKC High School student says she was beaten on campus because of her sexual orientation

By Fox 4 News

A 15-year-old girl says she was assaulted on campus because she’s gay. Police said it happened at North Kansas City High School. The girl’s mother, Victoria Johnson, said not only was her daughter assaulted, but the school isn’t doing enough to address it. Laci Johnson told FOX4 she came out to some of her friends months ago, and they quickly turned into enemies. However, she never expected when she went to school on Tuesday, Feb. 4, that she would be coming home with a concussion.

Black History Month in KCPS: Hugh O. Cook

By Ray Weikal, KCPS Communications

Hugh O. Cook (1873-1949), the longest-serving principal of Lincoln High School in Kansas City, Mo., was born in Washington D.C., graduated from Cornell University, and taught at Normal A&M College in Huntsville, Alabama. He moved to Kansas City in 1901 to teach mathematics and psychology at Lincoln High and assumed leadership of the school in 1922. Cook’s tenure saw Lincoln High’s move into its new Woodland Avenue facility, which is now on the National Register of Historic Places. Awarded the Distinguished Service Medal from the Missouri State Association of Negro Teachers in 1940, he also was instrumental in the founding of the Paseo YMCA and the Kansas City branch of the NAACP.

KCPS Announces ‘Attendance Matters’ Poster Contest Winners

Selected students will get framed posters, an Amazon Fire and a class pizza party (Check out the online photos of the winning posters.)

By Ray Weikal, KCPS Communications

Kansas City Public Schools recently announced the five winners of its “Attendance Matters” poster contest. The contest is part of an initiative to increase attendance across the school system. Students were asked to create a poster encouraging their peers to be at school on time and ready to learn every day that classes are in session. The winners will receive a framed copy of their poster, an Amazon Fire 7 with Alexa, and a pizza party for their class. The contest was run by KCPS Dropout Prevention Coordinator Stevie Brooks.

Missouri Education News

It’s a trend: More schools going to four-day week

By Joe Hickman |

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — More and more school districts in Missouri are making the change from the traditional five-day schedule to a four-day week. Aurora’s change will involve students attending Monday through Thursday with forty minutes added to the standard day length (Pate-8:05 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., Robinson/JH/HS-7:50 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.). A total of 1,089.9 hours will be completed during the 150-day schedule. An additional 12 days of professional development is included in the calendar and requires teachers to participate in activities on Fridays. According to a press release from the Aurora school district the basis for the decision includes the following: increase in student attendance; decrease in student behavior referrals resulting in better engagement; increase in teacher recruitment and retention; decrease in the need for substitute teachers due to absences; and extended professional development time to construct effective instructional activities and review data pertaining to student achievement. During that time the number of Missouri schools going to four-day weeks has grown from 25 to 61 with 23 more expected next year.

National Education News

Transitioning students back to school after mental health crises remains a challenge

By EducationDive.com

  • Bridge for Resilient Youth in Transition is an in-school program supporting students returning to school after extended mental health-related absences. The program provides a staffed classroom where students receive emotional and psychological support and homework assistance, according to The Hechinger Report.
  • Up to one in five children may have a mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety, which can cause problems with focusing or information processing. The cycle includes dropping grades and missed school, which adds to more anxiety.
  • study found 80% of students don’t receive the mental health care they need, and more than half of students age 14 or older with these disorders drop out of school.

The BRYT program, founded in the Boston area in 2004 by Brookline Center for Community Mental Health, has become an effective model for helping students transition back to school after a mental health crisis. The center helps school districts plan and implement these programs, which are staffed by school employees. It also helps districts find funding sources.

Gov. DeSantis announces end to Common Core education

By WFLA 8 on your side

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday that Common Core has officially been removed from Florida classrooms, but the state still has to adopt newly proposed standards. “When I took office, I made a pledge to the citizens of Florida to overhaul our educational standards to remove all vestiges of Common Core and return to the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic,” said Governor DeSantis. “I am pleased that this historic task has been completed and we are well on our way to making Florida the best state in the nation for education. My deepest thanks to Commissioner Corcoran and Department of Education staff, Florida teachers, parents, subject matter experts and stakeholders for their participation in this transparent, in-depth and comprehensive process.” Common Core, which was known as Florida Standards, is a set of academic standards in math, English, language arts and literacy that a student must meet or surpass at the end of each grade.

Future Ready Schools partnership to strengthen school boards

By EducationDive.com

  • Future Ready Schools, an initiative of the Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed), announced a new partnership with the National School Boards Association to provide school board members with tools around budgeting, resources, professional learning and leadership, among other areas.
  • The program, Future Ready School Boards, is a new part of the network aimed at elevating school boards. The network already provides supports for district-level and school leadership, librarians, instructional coaches and IT directors.
  • The executive director of Future Ready Schools, Sara Hall, said the resources available for school boards “will run the gamut” but will all be “tied back to student-centered learning and how we make sure our school systems are governed in a way that supports each student and their personal path to success.”

While at Future Ready Schools’ core are district-level leadership teams, this expansion to include school boards comes because of the “critical relationship between districts and their boards,” according to Hall. “We want to make sure there’s some shared vision there.”

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